Whenever I feel that I need a bit of light entertainment, I always pop over to my favourite comedy website the ANC Yoof League. Between “coffee-spitting” shrieks of laughter, I often pick up little gems like this;
“From the South African credit system (read: big-four) there is an endless migration of capital from blacks to non-blacks. If capital, military strength and wit equal power, it stands to reason that the endless migration of capital out of black pockets into non-black pockets; simply entrenches the endlessly unequal race power dynamics. In which, the powerful remain white, and the powerless remain black, capital slavery. This is what Ms/Mr Concerned calls “imperialism under new guise.” No longer are we selling our labour in the plantations for bread and butter, rather toiling in our Pty’s, DFI’s etc to pay-off the B-EM-double-U. Power therefore in our current era and generation is not ours.”
Now let’s stop here for a moment. While the banks have recently been accused of extending excessive credit, their “reason” for existence is to take deposits and extend credit. Their profit (or margin) being the difference in interest rates paid/charged. The reference above to the flow of capital from blacks to non-blacks is particularly amusing. One definition of capital, is the accumulation of unspent income. If you earn R10 000 per month, spend R9 000 and save R1 000, your Capital at the end of month 1 is R1 000. Clearly, if you are spending every cent you earn, or even worse, spending more than you earn (and filling in those pesky little gaps with plastic), you are not accumulating capital.
A B-EM-double-U is not capital. Your capital in this case, is the market value of the car less what you owe the bank. If you owe Wesbank R300 000 and that shiny new BM is now only worth R280 000, the capital actually belongs to the bank. You are R20 000 in the red.
In the bad old days, we used the terms whites and non-whites. Hell, we even had park benches labelled like that when I was at school. This practice was mercifully scrapped, but interestingly, these racist labels seem to be creeping back into everyday speech. But guess who’s using them?
Here’s another little gem;
“Conspicuous consumerism is a manifestation of the attempt by all of us to escape poverty.”
In my humble opinion, poverty is relative. A miserable shack dweller, with a few cents in her pocket, battling to keep food on the table, is in fact “wealthier” than the so-called “black-diamond”, driving a fancy car and living in an upmarket townhouse complex, all financed with credit. The former might only have a few cents, but the latter is tens of thousands of rands in the red. If the credit merry-go-round was suddenly stopped and all the assets sold, and all the debts settled, they would find themselves in very similar circumstances. But, try explaining that to the shack dweller.
You will never escape poverty by spending money on “pretty things” You will escape poverty by getting an education, working hard, and spending less than you earn. Period. “Luck” is very rare, and winning the Lotto, will only provide you with a very temporary escape from poverty.
Or, am I being “old-fashioned”?